KARACHI: The Pakistan stock market gained eight per cent (dollar-based 15pc) in the quarter ended on Monday, making it the best performing market in the world.

In 2014YTD, MSCI Pakistan gained 6.3pc, higher than 5.2pc gain of MSCI Frontier Markets. Among Asian frontier markets categorised by MSCI, Pakistan ranked second, ahead of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Analyst Vahaj Ahmed at Topline Securities commented that improving economic indicators and foreign inflows generated positive sentiments in the market.

The strengthening of rupee against the dollar also assisted Pakistan market in securing a place ahead of the rest. In 2013, KSE-100 Index had gained 49pc which compared favourably with last 10-year and 20-year average annual return of 28pc and 22pc, respectively.

Average daily volumes in cash market improved to 256m shares during first quarter of 2014 compared to 211m shares in the corresponding period last year.

Traded value stood at Rs9.2bn or $89m as against Rs5.7bn or $58m in the first quarter of 2013.

Foreign inflows also kept up the bullish trend at the market during the first quarter of 2014. Foreign investors hold $5.1bn worth of Pakistan shares which amounts to 32pc of free-float (8pc of market cap). During the quarter under review, foreigners net inflow stood at $36m over $70m net buying in first quarter of 2013.

Apart from increasing participation in secondary market, the local equity market witnessed healthy participation in initial public offering (IPO) during the first quarter of 2014.

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